April 30, 2007

Pre-Game Notes


CHICAGO CUBS (10-13) vs. PITTSBURGH PIRATES (11-12)
APRIL 30, 2007 AT PNC PARK --- GAME #24, HOME #11
LHP RICH HILL (3-1, 1.57 ERA) vs. LHP ZACH DUKE (1-2, 6.92 ERA)
7:05 EDT NO TV


TODAYS STARTER:
ZACH DUKE:
The 24-year-old lefthander is making his sixth start of the 2007 season this evening...He has lost his last two decisions.
LAST START:
Zach was in line for the win but received a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 4-3, 16-inning win Wednesday night vs. Houston at PNC Park...He spotted the Astros an early 1-0 first inning lead before shutting out Houston over his next 6.0 innings...Salomon Torres surrendered two runs in the ninth to send the game into extra innings.
FIRST START:
Duke was the Opening Day starter and received a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 4-2, 10-inning victory in Houston on 4/2...He tossed 4.0 scoreless frames before surrendering a two-run homer to Luke Scott in the 5th inning...The Pirates scored once in the 9th to tie the game and twice in the 10th for the win.
FIRST WIN:
Duke picked up his first win of the 2007 campaign in his April 8 start against Cincinnati at Great American Ball Park...He allowed three runs in 6.0 plus innings of work...The win snapped Duke’s 10-game road losing streak dating back to the 2006 campaign.
STRIKING NUMBERS:
Zach has struck out one batter (Houston’s Morgan Ensberg) in his last three starts...He has recorded a punchout in two of his first five starts this season.
TROUBLE IN THE FIRST:
Duke has allowed 10 first inning runs in his last three starts...In addition to his last start, he surrendered five runs in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants on April 13 and four more in his April 19 outing against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
DUKE vs. CHICAGO:
2006:
2-1 with a 1.86 ERA in four starts (29.0ip/6er)...He won a 2-1 decision over Jerome Williams @PNC Park on 4/15 (7.0ip/1er), pitched his first big league shutout in an 8-0 victory @Wrigley Field on 5/2, lost a 7-5 decision to Mark Prior @Wrigley on 8/5 (6.0ip/5er) and had a no-decision (7.0ip/1r/0er) on 9/6 @Chicago.
CAREER:
4-1 with a 1.40 ERA in six starts (45.0ip/7er)...In addition to last year, he tossed 8.0 shutout innings and won a 3-0 decision over Greg Maddux @Wrigley Field on 7/16/05 and also defeated Maddux, 5-3, on 9/27/05 @Wrigley (8.0ip/3r/1er).

TOMORROW'S STARTER:
TONY ARMAS:
The 29-year-old righthander will be making his fourth start of the season tomorrow night...Received a no-decision in his last start; a 5-3 Bucco victory over the Astros Thursday at PNC Park (5.0ip+/6h/1r/1er/4bb/4so)...Allowed eight runs in 2.2 innings and lost a 10-2 decision to Randy Wolf at Dodger Stadium on 4/20...Suffered a 7-5 loss to Aaron Harang in Cincinnati on 4/7 in debut with Pirates (4.0ip/6er)...Was signed as a free agent on 2/1 after spending parts of eight seasons pitching with Montreal/Washington.
vs. CHICAGO:
3-5 with a 4.19 ERA in 10 career starts...Made lone start in 2006 on 7/23 and won a 7-1 decision at RFK Stadium (7.0ip/1er)...Has won his last two starts against the Cubs after suffering last loss on 9/6/04 at Wrigley Field.

ALL-STAR VOTING:
Beginning tomorrow at PNC Park, fans will be able to vote for the players for this year’s All-Star Game, which is scheduled to be played at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Tuesday, July 10...A total of eight Pirates are on this year’s ballot (Jason Bay, Freddy Sanchez, Jack Wilson, Adam LaRoche, Jose Bautista, Chris Duffy, Xavier Nady and Ronny Paulino)...Voting at PNC Park will continue through June 17...Twenty-one million ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks and an additional 1.7 million ballots will be distributed to 95 Minor League Baseball Clubs that are in-season during the balloting period.

ALL-TIME RAWLINGS GOLD GLOVE:
Vote on the All-Time Rawlings Gold Glove Team. Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski are on the ballot and need your support...Fans can continue to vote until June 19 at www.RawlingsGoldGlove.com.

TEAM NOTES:
The Bucs have turned at least one double play in each of their last six games (10 total)...They rank
first among all National League teams with 31 twin-killings this season.

ON THE D.L.:
Catcher Humberto Cota (left shoulder strain - eligible on 5/8) is on the 15-day disabled list.

UPCOMING PITCHING MATCHUPS:
Tuesday vs. Chicago 7:05 LHP Ted Lilly (2-2, 2.18 ERA) vs. RHP Tony Armas (0-2, 11.57 ERA) FSNP
Wednesday vs. Chicago 12:35 RHP Jason Marquis (3-1, 2.35 ERA) vs. RHP Ian Snell (2-1, 1.59 ERA) NO TV

Through The Dugout:
Jose Bautista - Went 2-for-4 with a double Sunday afternoon...Had career-high 12-game hitting streak from 4/10-25.

Jason Bay - Has gone 15-for-42 (.357) with 5 doubles, a triple, homer, 10 RBI and 6 runs scored in his last 11 games.

Jose Castillo - Has four hits in his last 12 at bats (.333) after a 1-for-17 start to the season.

Ryan Doumit - Went 4-for-4 with a double, homer and two RBI in start behind the plate Sunday afternoon.

Chris Duffy - Is hitting .342 (13-for-38) in his last 10 games...Has scored seven runs in his last seven contests.

Brad Eldred - Had second two-hit game of the season on Friday night...Hit his second home run on Wednesday vs. Houston.

Don Kelly - Grounded out as pinch hitter on Sunday...Singled as a pinch hitter in Los Angeles on 4/22.

Adam LaRoche - Has reached base safely in 17 of his 22 games...Has hit safely in five of his last seven games.

Nate McLouth - Has one hit in his last 14 at bats after going 5-for-9 in his first seven games.

Xavier Nady - Was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded Thursday afternoon vs. Houston...Has 8 RBI in his last 7 games.

Ronny Paulino - Has started 17 of the first 23 games at catcher...Has gone 3-for-7 in his last two games.

Freddy Sanchez - Snapped 0-for-13 streak with a single in the 7th inning Saturday night...Has gone 1-for-18 in last 5 games.

Jack Wilson - Has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, going 13-for-42 (.310) with 10 runs scored.

Through The Pen:
Jonah Bayless - Surrendered two runs in 1.0ip Saturday night vs. Cincinnati - his first runs allowed in five games at PNC Park this year (6.1ip).

Matt Capps - Twirled a scoreless inning Sunday vs. Cincinnati...Tossed a scoreless eighth inning Thursday afternoon vs. Houston.

Shawn Chacon - Allowed three runs in 3.0 innings of work Sunday afternoon vs. Cincinnati.

John Grabow - Tossed a scoreless eighth Sunday afternoon vs. Cincinnati.

Damaso Marte - Tossed a scoreless eighth inning Friday night vs. Cincinnati...Struck out the only Houston batter he faced Wednesday night.

Salomon Torres - Picked up his seventh save Friday night vs. Cincinnati...Has been scored upon in six of his last eight games (7.0ip/9r/8er).

John Wasdin - Surrendered one run while tossing 2.0 innings in Buc’s 8-1 loss to the Reds Saturday night.

Player Images from Pressbox on MLB.com
Complete Game Notes can be found at Presspass on MLB.com

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